Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The World God Only Knows (Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai)

This was another those anime I randomly chose simply because I wanted something light and fluffy to watch in order to kill time between installments of Attack on Titan. Since The World God Only Knows already had about thirty episodes under its belt and was currently finishing out its third season, I figured this anime should last me a good bit. I just naturally assumed it wouldn't be anything too great since it sort of looked like your standard nerdy guy harem anime. 

Boy, was I wrong. Very wrong, in fact. Perhaps the plot of this story isn't the most original, but it is the way the story is told and how expertly the show goes from drama to humor (and the humor here is really hilarious) that makes TWGOK a winner.

I don't say the word "cute" very often because generally what other people find cute I find absolutely nauseating (and I just don't care for the word in general), but damn it, this show is just plain cute. 

Katsuragi Keima is just your average guy who happens to play more video games than anyone else on the planet. He also spends more time alone in his room than I do. So maybe he's not quite so average. 
The God of Conquest, Katsuragi Keima

But more importantly than being a self-centered NEET, Keima is master of the Japanese dating sim. He has conquered more women in his games than Gene Simmons from KISS has conquered in real life. Keima lives for his games and rejects the real world. He lives for the 2D women of his games and not the 3D ones that he finds to be uninteresting and far too difficult. Ah, a kindred spirit. 

One day Keima receives a challenge from someone online. This challenge insults the ego of the self-styled "God of Conquest" and Keima blindly accepts. Bad move there, pal. The next thing he knows he has a bizarre collar around his neck and an adorable demon named Elsie appears before him. She says that they've got to work together to conquer loose souls or else the collars will take their heads off. You see, Elsie happens to be wearing a collar, too. 
How can anyone threaten to behead poor Elsie? 
While conquering loose souls may sound like a pain in the ass, it isn't until Keima is told that loose souls take root in the souls of melancholic women that Keima begins to wonder if he'd prefer to be beheaded. The only way to drive these loose souls out is to fill the hearts of those women with love. 

Now Keima has to put his "God of Conquest" skills to work in the real world if he wants to keep his head intact. Elsie's, too. 

Since each conquered girl loses their memory of the conquest (who'd want to remember that they were possessed by a big ole blobby thing or that they were kissed by a nerdy video game playing guy anyway?), Keima can move easily on to the next loose soul once he is finished. But is it really that easy? 

Is Keima legitimately experiencing the sensations of love and happiness or is he merely playing the odds and calculating his next best move just so can get the job done? When the girl forgets she ever loved him does he feel relieved or regretful? 

It turns out that the answer is a little bit of both but as he continues to do conquer loose souls we gradually see him struggle more and more between being the real-world shunning God of Conquest and the true life Romeo. 

And then it all comes to a clash in season three when a few of his past conquests appear to be able to remember falling in love with Keima. 

Season three is easily my favorite of them all, but it skips a HUGE chunk of the manga! In fact, if you go from watching the end of season two to the first episode of season three then you will be so freaking confused. You'll think that you missed a season somewhere along the way. That's not true, though. For whatever reason season three is the legitimate third season.

We meet characters that have apparently been palling around with Keima for a while now, but we don't get any introduction to them at all. They are merely there as if this part of the show has already been covered. Well, it hasn't, damn it! At least not in the anime. The anime skips about fifty freaking chapters of the manga while the first two season combined didn't even cover the first fifty chapters. Again, that's a freaking HUGE gap.
Kosaka Chihiro

Reading the manga is strongly suggested. The story is so worth it, too. I really wish there are a few more seasons that both continue the story and fill in the massive time gaps. This show (and the manga) really deserves to have the story fully told, I think. 

However, if no more seasons were made then season three would be a fitting end regardless of the massive time gap and all that other stuff.
Of course, the final episode of season three is definitely a feel trip so make sure you cut some onions while you watch so can cry your eyes out without losing points off your man card.

If you want humor, a few killer Dragonball Z references, cute demons that like firetrucks, some good drama, romance, and a little bit of supernatural harem hijinks thrown then you can't go wrong with TWGOK. Watch it. 

As for who Keima ultimately ends up with at the end of season three... well, everyone might not be pleased. I personally wanted Kosaka Chihiro to end up with Keima, but all of the other girls are fleshed out enough to where it is tough to not root for them, too. 


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